How to Select a Veterinary Assistant School near Wethersfield Connecticut
Achieving your long term goal of working with and caring for animals by enrolling in a veterinarian college near Wethersfield CT could at first seem like a daunting undertaking. After all, you must search for and enroll in a school that will deliver the proper training so that you can be successful as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. But just how do you go about evaluating and contrasting programs so that you can make the best selection? Many aspiring students start their due diligence process by looking for schools that are close to their residences. When they have identified some area colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and focus on those. Although location and expense are significant factors when evaluating vet tech schools, they are not the only important ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation need to be considered also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary tech programs you are reviewing before you make a final decision. We have furnished several in this article to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll talk about the different roles of vet techs and assistants and the training alternatives available.
The Job of a Vet Tech and Assistant
One of the first decisions that you will need to make is if you desire to train as a vet assistant, technician or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your training, but the primary factor will probably be which specialty interests you the most. What vet techs and assistants share in common is that they both work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are a number of functions that they can perform within the Wethersfield CT veterinary practice or hospital, they can’t prescribe medications, diagnose health issues, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technologists and technicians that work outside of the standard vet practice, for instance for zoos, animal shelters or police departments. Let’s take a look at the duties and training prerequisites for each position.
- Vet Assistants in most instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an intern or apprentice in a practice, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school near Wethersfield CT. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more complicated tasks, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their regular functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared to assistants and generally earn a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more involved activities, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or administering medication. All states presently mandate that vet techs pass a credentialing exam for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to vet techs and for the most part perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which usually takes four years to complete. So the main difference between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work opportunities, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Veterinary technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. A number may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in labs or Wethersfield CT area research facilities also.
Veterinarian Online Degree Programs
An approach that may be a solution for those with a busy schedule or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Because the classes are offered via the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The course of study is taught using various methods, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since many veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that segment can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Wethersfield CT veterinary practice or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, can in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for travel and study supplies, can be lower compared to more standard classroom programs. Just confirm that the program that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. With the online classes and the clinical training, everything is furnished for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary tech or assistant program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Vet Assistant and Technician Training Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you intend to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of veterinary community colleges, vocational and trade schools in Connecticut as well as across the Country, you must ask some important questions to help narrow down your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many potential students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have previously pointed out other significant qualifiers, which include internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are addressed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the Wethersfield CT vet technician and assistant schools that you are considering.
Is the Vet Program Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the veterinary assistant or technician college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone an extensive review process that verifies you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since numerous programs are not available for non-accredited programs. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is in many cases a prerequisite for employment for many Wethersfield CT veterinarian clinics and hospitals.
What is the Program’s Reputation? The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the vet community. You can begin your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other suggestions include looking on internet school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Connecticut school licensing department if there have been any grievances or infractions concerning your targeted schools. As a final pointer, phone some Wethersfield CT veterinarians that you might wish to work for after you go through your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best way to obtain clinical hands on experience as a vet technician or assistant is to work in a professional setting. Ask if the programs you are looking at have internship programs arranged with area veterinarians, vet clinics or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the practical training, but an internship can also help develop associations in the local Wethersfield CT vet community and aid in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech or assistant school can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, ask what the graduation rates are for the programs you are considering. A low rate might signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, verify that the schools have a job placement program and find out what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the Wethersfield CT program has an exceptional reputation within the veterinary community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A low rate may indicate that the training is not highly thought of by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger in size, you probably will get little or no one-on-one instruction from the teachers. Solicit from the Wethersfield CT colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a couple of classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between instructors and students. Get evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their approaches to teaching.
Where is the College Located? Yes, we already covered location, but there are several more points to consider on the topic. If you are going to drive to your vet assistant classes from work or home, you have to confirm that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For instance, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, particularly if the Wethersfield CT college is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do opt to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be higher tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes may be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it’s imperative that you determine if the Connecticut veterinarian programs you are considering offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, a number of students continue to work full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings. Some might only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available near Wethersfield CT prior to enrolling. Also, determine if you can make-up classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family responsibilities. You might discover that an online program is the best solution to fit your veterinary education into your busy life.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Vet Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a veterinary job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask veterinary applicants is "What compelled you to pick veterinary care as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a vet assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to veterinary care, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent vet tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Vet Tech Training Program near Wethersfield CT
Enrolling in the ideal vet assistant or tech program is a crucial first step to starting a rewarding career providing treatment and care for pets and livestock. Future students considering vet tech or assistant colleges must make their determination based on multiple key issues. Vet assistants, techs and technologists work in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually handle administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This goes for online vet tech programs as well. By asking the questions included in our checklist for reviewing schools, you will be able to narrow down your alternatives so that you can make your final decision. And by selecting the best school, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a vet assistant, technician or technologist in Wethersfield CT.
A Little Bit About Wethersfield CT
Wethersfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located immediately south of Hartford along the Connecticut River. Its population was 26,668 in the 2010 census.
Many records from colonial times spell the name "Weathersfield", while Native Americans called it "Pyquag". "Watertown" is a variant name.
The town is primarily served by Interstate 91. The neighborhood known as Old Wethersfield is the state's largest historic district, spanning 2 sq mi (5.2 km2) and 1,100 buildings, dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
More Cities of Interest in Connecticut